avia: (hearth fires)
[personal profile] avia
A couple of related links:

"The number of people who accept that a given oppression is real and bad is inversely proportional to the severity of said oppression." A great article that shows how not believing people's oppressions is one aspect of oppression.

A thoughtful article on BIID has been published, finally! And compares it with gender dysphoria, how shocking.

I like reading BIID blogs. Or, really, transabled.org, because there are not that many BIID blogs. Yesterday, I finally realized why I like the community so much that I watch it from a distance, even though it is not my community.

It's because I wish it was my community. There is so much support in that community, so much bonding between all the people in it. They don't mock or put each other down, or try to gaslight each other by doubting their experiences. I've never seen them fight or argue. When they have a disagreement, they settle it gently. I've never seen them act like one is better than the other, or like their experience is more "real" than the others'.

They've helped each other through depression, suicidal thoughts, and the extreme actions that many of them have needed to take to cure their dysphoria. If someone in the BIID community says, "I need an amputation to feel comfortable with my body", they are accepted and supported by mature people who have studied the literature, understand that this is not a phase, it is a neurological problem with the wiring of the brain and body map that only can be cured this way, as extreme as it seems. They don't start yelling emotional arguments or talking about how this will "make the community look bad". They don't suggest pointless things that don't help, like "you need to see a psychologist" (because these people already have seen psychologists!) or "just try to appreciate the body you have now and the fact that you are healthy" (because you think they haven't tried that??) They are rational, because they too have been there and they don't deny how horrible it can be.

In the otherkin and therian communities, someone who talks about wanting surgery, even if we know we can't have it, is automatically an outcast. Even someone who talks about any negative experience, depression, dysphoria, uncontrollable shifts, is not helped and supported but mocked, told to "toughen up", that "that's not how real therians are". The community cares far more about whether it looks bad to the outside than actually helping its people. New ideas and experiences are not used to help the stores of knowledge grow and become more detailed, but are attacked using false, pseudo-scientific arguments because they are seen as a threat. The community is deeply injured by a hierarchy where, in many places, therians are seen as "more legitimate" than otherkin, otherkin are "more legitimate" than fictionkin, and fictionkin are "more legitimate" than factives. Denying that your own experiences mean anything, and pushing them away with a simple explanation of "I must be crazy", is seen as healthy and rational behavior.

And, most importantly, the BIID shows that the therian and otherkin communities' ideas, that too much support and accepting attitudes would make people stop thinking critically and stop other people taking them seriously, are a complete fantasy. The BIID community does not harass its members constantly, yet they have come much closer to discovering a cause for BIID than therians or otherkin have to discovering a cause for our dysphoria. The BIID community does not police its members to make sure that only the "good ones" stay, but the outside world is slowly starting to realize that they are serious: scientific articles like that second link are being posted about it. But we're not even close to having a good medical or psychological article published about otherkin.

In fact, I believe that what the therian and otherkin communities do, probably has the opposite effect. If you don't police people and harass them for their views, they naturally will think critically about their own beliefs and experiences. But if you constantly threaten them, they will start to get defensive, and then they will feel much less comfortable thinking critically at all, because they won't want to admit that the people who are attacking them are right.

So, yeah. I wish we were more like the BIID community, and less like our own community. If I had BIID, I'm sure I would have had a place there, instead of being the outcast of the outcast. And that is kind of sad to think about.
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avia: (Default)
little swan child

May 2013

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